Illustration: Jeff Jank
The names Quasimoto and Madlib have been linked for years, yet they’ve never been seen in the same room together. In fact, Quasimoto’s never been seen in the same room with anyone – he’s The Unseen. But you can hear him - and there’s no mistaking what he sounds like.
Peanut Butter Wolf first heard him off a dusty old cassette, one of Madlib’s infamous beat tapes – the kind he’d make to listen to himself, maybe pass around to crew. Madlib and Quas had been up in Lost Gates, somewhere near Oxnard, CA, making music for years without the slightest intention of releasing it to the masses. Wolf got it out though – after some begging and pleading, and after signing a contract with Quas vowing not to reveal his name.
The Unseen came out in 2000 and caught praise by fans and critics alike. SPIN went off on Quasimoto’s “recipe for resin-caked jazz and crusty comedy samples as a new flavor for the bland world of mainstream rap” and stuck him smack between Madonna and Outkast in their best of the year list. URB too named the album one of the best of the year. In the tradition of artistic “role playing” in black music, Quas was compared favorably to RZA, Kool Keith, and even Prince (City Pages, St. Paul/Minneapolis). Another dude wrote that rap music “hasn’t been this far out since 3 Feet High and Rising” (Sleazenation). And a few commented on the voice. What a voice. Was it a tree-blazin’ ghetto chipmunk? A cartoon Martian? Naw, it’s neither - but close.
Lord Quas personally demands a high level of privacy, so Madlib and the heads at Stones Throw have been dodging questions about Lord Quas for years. Who is he? Why won’t he perform live? When’s the next album?
Mostly that last question.
The answers to these and other questions can be found on the album The Further Adventures of Lord Quas ... if you play it backwards. Play it forwards and you'll find Lord Quas digging for records, rolling blunts, and smackin’ dudes with bricks. With some wild tales of crime sprees, kidnappings, and a fetish for some booty, we can assume he’ll still be known as “the Bad Character.”
KEY QUASIMOTO RELEASES
The Unseen (2000)
The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (2005)
The Unseen Instrumentals (2000)
The Further Adventures Instrumentals (2005)